|October 4, 2005
Dr. Kent King, Commissioner
I have attached a copy of a recent article from the St. Louis Argus as well as a copy of a letter I recently sent to Bennetta Slaughter, Chief Executive Officer of Applied Scholastics. The comments of your staff on the second page of the article are particularly disturbing.
First, as background, I need to explain that we are very familiar with Applied Scholastics. They opened their "world headquarters" in the Hazelwood School District about three years ago to great fanfare. They approached the district many, many times to try to get us to send teachers to their training, to get us to use their "instructional materials," or to otherwise connect themselves to our children and families. We investigated them thoroughly at the time and found that they were closely connected to the Church of Scientology. We made the decision that this connection was not in the interests of our children and refused all efforts to "partner" with the District.
Since then, they have gotten much more careful about their materials and their website. It is not so easy to track their connection to the Church of Scientology any longer. They deny that Applied Scholastics is connected to the Church of Scientology. They continue to use the materials and philosophy of Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church.
As the Department reviews renewal applications from potential providers for Supplemental Educational Services this year, I hope that you will evaluate those programs which have already been approved and establish some criteria for their approval.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Chris L. Wright
Cc: Board of Education